Over the weekend, the much ballyhooed unscripted political debate between liberal jokester Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's Daily Show and conservative blowhard Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX's O'Reilly Factor, was supposed to be a blistering affair with the talking heads of differing views setting off conversational pyrotechnics. Instead, the event dubbed “The Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium” was deemed mild by many although both men stated their positions well – even agreeing at some point on certain issues.
On Saturday (October 6), Stewart and O'Reilly faced one another at the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in the Nation's Capital; a fitting backdrop considering the upcoming presidential debates to come between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Moderated by CNN anchor E.D. Hill, the pay-per-view event got off to a shaky start for viewers at home after servers reportedly crashed due to the volume of folks tuning in. Although the proceeds were going to charity, the event's organizers have offered refunds to paying customers who request such. A visit to the "Rumble" website also offers a downloadable version of the debate as well.
Over the course of the 90-minute debate, Stewart and O'Reilly served as surrogates for Obama and Romney respectively but also displayed a willingness to see eye-to-eye. Stewart was largely bombastic, channeling his hosting persona for the debate. O'Reilly wasn't without his zingers, but strayed away from profanity and outbursts for the most part.
Although there were several highlights far too numerous to list, a contentious disagreement over unemployed Americans stood out during the opening arguments. “About 20 percent of us are slackers, and it's a growing industry,” said O'Reilly. Stewart responded later simply saying, “My friend Bill O'Reilly is completely full of s**t” – but not before a hilarious bit where Stewart raised his podium platform mechanically to meet the eyes of his much taller opponent.
You can watch the entire debate below, thanks to Savage Nation:
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